Protesters Move from Occupying Wall Street to Occupying Foreclosed Homes

The movement known as Occupy Wall Street led to an offshoot called Occupy Our Homes on December 6, 2011. The Atlantic reported that there were 25 actions planned nationwide for that day involving plans to protest what activists said are unfair lending practices by banks. Five of those, including Chicago, involved protesters actually moving into homes.

According to the Atlantic, in the second house takeover of the day, organizers said two formerly homeless women and a 1-year-old baby would move into a house whose owner had decided to move out months ago rather than get foreclosure help. In the ensuing months, Occupy Our Homes said on its website that the home was "vandalized, sprayed with graffiti, and stripped of its pipes, sinks, and heating units."

"Crackheads came in and turned it into a crackhouse," J.R. Fleming of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign J.R. Fleming told the Atlantic. "They stripped all the copper out of the unit, they stripped out all the aluminum."

The Atlantic noted that it was the only abandoned house on the block, and after proving to police that homeowner Brenda Walker had "given her blessing," the group arranged for Ebonee Stevenson, Shirley Henderson and Stevenson’s 1-year-old cousin to move in. Fleming told the Atlantic that "about 30 to 40 approving neighbors and community organizers" looked on as the tenants moved in after a prep crew had replaced the fixtures, piping and wiring. The group received no resistance from police, Fleming told the Atlantic.

If you do not want to wait for a group of activists to help you deal with a foreclosure, you should know that filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can allow you to legally stay in your home as well as reduce, restructure or eliminate your debt. What are your feelings about the Occupy Our Homes movement? Do you think this sort of activity will continue?

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